In Praise of Passion

After 18 years, the Apostrophe Protection Society closed, in disgust at the laziness and ignorance in the world which they feel is at the root of apostrophe misuse and abuse. It’s not just the apostrophe that’s under attack. What about capital letters? Commas? And don’t even get me started on what’s happening with colons these days! How much extra time does it take to add an apostrophe? Surely any delay incurred will be cancelled out by the time saved in not adding an apostrophe where there shouldn’t be one? Who care’s? For one large UK bookstore, it was apparently a design issue! The Apostrophe Protection Society: ‘It’s just plain wrong. It’s grammatically incorrect. If Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s can get it right, then why can’t Waterstone’s?’

Obviously, words like laziness and ignorance are not going to endear people to your organisation. But I can’t help feeling some sympathy, if not for their method, certainly for their madness. Because the sad fact is that purism like this comes from passion, and who doesn’t love a bit of passion. While it should never be allowed to make you smug or intolerant, whether you’re passionate about knitting, or medieval pudding recipes or language, your passion is bound to make you a bit of a pedant.